The Nuances of Beauty in a Modern Context
The classical conception of beauty is the arrangement of integral parts into a whole, the primordial Western conception, and embodied in classical and neo-classical art. Aristotle wrote in Metaphysics and Poetics that the chief form of beauty is symmetry, which can be defined as the definiteness and order of an object. Whether an object is beautiful or not is a subjective matter. For this reason, aristotle argued that it should be described in such a way that it remains unaffected by the perception of its creator.
The scientific approach to aesthetics takes two forms. One is psychological aesthetics, which applies experimental methods to the aesthetic experience in order to determine the laws of appreciation. Traditionally, the term is used to describe an object in the context of its intrinsic qualities. In this approach, the term “beautiful” has come to mean a high degree of worth. This is contrasted with the terms “pretty” and “plain” which connote a lack of odd or bizarre elements.
Objectification of beauty has changed over time. Objectification of beauty became gender specific and often represented idealized characteristics of a particular race, class, or religion. This has led to many people defining beauty as an ideal or an expression of one’s individuality. For this reason, it’s crucial that we consider the aesthetic value of beauty in order to be aware of our personal and social identities. This article explores the nuances of beauty in a modern context.